Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/202698
Title:
Re-Conceptualizing the Organizing Circumstance of Learning
Author:
Spear Ellinwood, Karen Courtenay
Issue Date:
2011
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This study explores the web-navigation practices of adult learners in higher education and re-conceptualizes the concept of the organizing circumstance of self-managed learning, originated by Spear and Mocker (1984). The theoretical framework draws on funds of knowledge theory from a cultural historical perspective and elaborates a Vygotskian concepts of learning and development by introducing the notion of the distal object and the zone of distal development. The study employed a mixed methods design with an embedded multiple-case study involving half of the twelve participants using a new technology for self-managed learning called Zonebee. Zonebee recorded participants' web navigation, known as Zonebee Trails, providing quantitative data for analysis. Surveys were administered, namely the Metacognitive Awareness Inventory (Schraw&Dennison, 1994), the Index of Learning Styles Inventory (Soloman&Felder, 1986), a survey of technology use (created for this study) and a set of demographic questions. Eleven of the twelve participants also provided interviews in which they described their self-managed learning practices.Findings contradicted the premise in the literature that the learning environment fortuitously determines the learning experience. Participants primarily relied on the internet and computer to manage their learning and made deliberate choices about which tools to use depending upon the purpose of the constituent process of self-managed learning in which they were engaged (assessing, planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating or producing). Zonebee Trails evidenced participants' engagement in considerable planning before generating focused queries to locate specific materials. Thus, this study suggests that the organizing circumstance operates, not through happenstance alone, but through the confluence of four factors influencing the direction the learner takes: funds of knowledge for learning; learning demands (proximity of the learning object, proximal or distal), conditions for learning (affordances for and constraints on learning); and motivation or purpose of activity. The re-conceptualized organizing circumstance of learning, then, offers a methodological and theoretical way to redefine context and understand how learners manage their own learning.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
self-directed learning; self-managed learning; Vygotsky; zone of proximal development; Language, Reading & Culture; context; organizing circumstance
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Language, Reading & Culture
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Moll, Luis C.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleRe-Conceptualizing the Organizing Circumstance of Learningen_US
dc.creatorSpear Ellinwood, Karen Courtenayen_US
dc.contributor.authorSpear Ellinwood, Karen Courtenayen_US
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis study explores the web-navigation practices of adult learners in higher education and re-conceptualizes the concept of the organizing circumstance of self-managed learning, originated by Spear and Mocker (1984). The theoretical framework draws on funds of knowledge theory from a cultural historical perspective and elaborates a Vygotskian concepts of learning and development by introducing the notion of the distal object and the zone of distal development. The study employed a mixed methods design with an embedded multiple-case study involving half of the twelve participants using a new technology for self-managed learning called Zonebee. Zonebee recorded participants' web navigation, known as Zonebee Trails, providing quantitative data for analysis. Surveys were administered, namely the Metacognitive Awareness Inventory (Schraw&Dennison, 1994), the Index of Learning Styles Inventory (Soloman&Felder, 1986), a survey of technology use (created for this study) and a set of demographic questions. Eleven of the twelve participants also provided interviews in which they described their self-managed learning practices.Findings contradicted the premise in the literature that the learning environment fortuitously determines the learning experience. Participants primarily relied on the internet and computer to manage their learning and made deliberate choices about which tools to use depending upon the purpose of the constituent process of self-managed learning in which they were engaged (assessing, planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating or producing). Zonebee Trails evidenced participants' engagement in considerable planning before generating focused queries to locate specific materials. Thus, this study suggests that the organizing circumstance operates, not through happenstance alone, but through the confluence of four factors influencing the direction the learner takes: funds of knowledge for learning; learning demands (proximity of the learning object, proximal or distal), conditions for learning (affordances for and constraints on learning); and motivation or purpose of activity. The re-conceptualized organizing circumstance of learning, then, offers a methodological and theoretical way to redefine context and understand how learners manage their own learning.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectself-directed learningen_US
dc.subjectself-managed learningen_US
dc.subjectVygotskyen_US
dc.subjectzone of proximal developmenten_US
dc.subjectLanguage, Reading & Cultureen_US
dc.subjectcontexten_US
dc.subjectorganizing circumstanceen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineLanguage, Reading & Cultureen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorMoll, Luis C.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGilmore, Perryen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRios-Aguilar, Ceciliaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMoll, Luis C.en_US
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